If you’re about to start planning a holiday in 2016 we recommend you check this list first. From historical landmarks to modern day attractions, from rolling hills to coastal getaways; and from touring vineyards to shopping destinations, Trip Advisor has compiled a list of destinations from travel experts and users to help you narrow down your options.
I consider myself lucky to have been to most of these (read on about my personal favourites) and I hope this helps you choose your perfect vacation spot. Be it adventure or relaxation, this list has a mix of it all and is sure to have you reach out for your trip planner….and start planning!
10 – Ubud, Indonesia
Think endless rice fields, monkeys and a treasure trove of spas and cultural centres — that’s Ubud for you. If what you’re seeking is peace and quiet, Ubud is THE place to relax. For the more adventurous, you can indulge in some rafting down the Ayung river or hike an active volcano. Personal tip – If you’re doing the volcano trek, make sure to carry some eggs with you so you can cook them in the volcanic steam and voila! you have your breakfast naturally cooked for you. Featuring 10th place in Trip Advisor’s 2016 Travelers Choice Destination awards, Ubud ranks high in relaxation, arts & culture, and adventure.
9 – New York City, New York
There’s something about New York that makes you fall in love with the place. Splurge on some high-end shopping on Fifth Avenue; admire Manhattan’s glitzy sky scrapers; take a walk down Central Park and of course visit New York’s iconic Empire State Building and the Statue of Liberty. All art lovers can head down to the Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York has it all and it’s no wonder Frank Sinatra crooned New York, New York after his love for the city.
8 – Hanoi, Vietnam
Let your spirit of adventure come alive in this charming yet bustling capital. Lakes, parks, shady boulevards and more than 600 temples and pagodas add to the appeal of this city. Personal tip – do visit Halong Bay which lies 105 miles East of Hanoi to witness towering limestones and tiny islets rise from the emerald green waters.
7 – Rome, Italy
If you love walking, Rome should definitely be on your list. Meander along cobbled streets and lose yourself admiring all the art, architecture and culture on display. The city is a real-life collage of piazzas, open-air markets, and ancient ruins such as the Roman Forum and the Colosseum. No visit to Rome would be complete without a visit to the Vatican City which houses St. Peter’s Basilica and the Vatican Museums, and masterpieces such as Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel frescoes.
6 – Prague, Czech Republic
Featuring sixth on the list, Prague is a city for all history buffs. Nicknamed “the City of a Hundred Spires,” it’s known for its extraordinary historic and cultural sights like the Old Town Square, colorful baroque buildings, Gothic churches, the Prague Castle, synagogues and cemetery of the Jewish Quarter. For the not-so-keen-on-history types, there’s plenty of nightlife from trendy clubs to sophisticated wine bars to late-night cellar bars.
5 – Siam Reap, Cambodia
Definitely in my bucket list for sure. Siam Reap is the gateway to an ancient world. The sprawling world heritage Angkor ruins with the magnificent Angkor Wat; floating villages dotted with rice paddies; rare bird sanctuaries, and everything from backpacker-friendly to swanky hotels, luxurious spas and more. Siam Reap is a place to be savored.
4 – Paris, France
In fourth place this year is Paris – the city of love, art, fashion, gastronomy and culture. Paris continues to be ranked high because of its iconic Eiffel tower, the Arc de Triomphe, Champs-Élysées, and the Notre Dame cathedral. Feel the love of the city by walking the streets dotted with quaint cafes and uber-chic shopping stores. Whether its shopping for Louis Vuitton or Les Puces (the flea market), you can find it here.
3 – Marrakesh, Morocco
Home to mosques, palaces and gardens, this medieval city with its maze like alleys thriving with souks selling textiles, pottery, jewelry, food and more, continues to charm travelers of every kind. Immerse yourself in this bustling action-packed city and awaken your senses to the sounds and colours that will animate your heart.
2 – Istanbul, Turkey
Vibrant and colourful is what describes Istanbul. A mix of the old world plus contemporary; you will find centuries old mosques and markets coexisting with modern restaurants and galleries. Steam away your tiredness in Istanbul’s famed hamams (Turkish bath) – an experience like no other. The city is dotted with towering minarets, underground Byzantine cisterns and of course there is one absolute must-see in Istanbul — the Topkapi Palace, home to generations of sultans and their wives.
1 – London, United Kingdom
Coveting the number one spot this year, London tops the list of Trip Advisor’s 2016 Travelers Choice Destination awards. You can’t fail to be amazed by London’s attractions. Get a bird’s eye view of the city from above on the London Eye; meet your favourite celebrity at Madame Tussauds wax museum or take a cruise down the river Thames. Visit the Buckingham palace and witness the changing of the Guard (who knows if you’re lucky you may get to rub shoulders with royalty as well.) If you love fashion head to Oxford Street for shopping galore. And while in London indulge in crispy fish n chips and a proper high tea for that classic London flavor.